Senate President Godswill Akpabio and Bishop Matthew Kukah have emphasized the urgent need to reposition political parties, fostering a democratic culture centered on inclusivity, transparency, and accountability.
The call was made during the Public Presentation of the Needs Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria, organized by the Kukah Centre with support from the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN), held in Abuja.
Represented by Sen. Victor Umeh, Akpabio highlighted that the repositioning of political parties is vital to restoring public trust and confidence, ensuring they genuinely represent the aspirations of the people. He identified accountability, inclusivity, transparency, and inherent impunity as significant challenges that must be addressed.
Akpabio expressed optimism in the 10th National Assembly to tackle these issues, stressing the importance of holding party leaders accountable for their actions. He called for increased transparency in party financing and campaign expenditures, emphasizing the need for inclusivity in the political process.
Bishop Matthew Kukah, the Founder of the Kukah Foundation, explained that the event aimed to address challenges faced by political parties and inspire confidence in politics. He emphasized the role of political parties as platforms for training and deploying politicians to serve the public good.
Kukah underlined the importance of understanding political party processes, particularly for young individuals with a vision for forming political parties. He highlighted the significance of the needs assessment in recommending options for parties to become ideological engines for driving political processes and democracy.
The report, drawing from academic analysis and interviews with ordinary citizens, recommended a constant review of the Electoral Act, incorporation of the opposition in the political process, and innovative ways of financing political parties.
Olawunmi Laolu, Programme Manager at EU-SDGN, stressed the need for political parties to strengthen internal democracy, improve intra and inter-party dialogue, and promote wide participation in the political process. She expressed the EU’s commitment to supporting Nigeria’s progress and urged political parties to lead by example in advancing democracy in the region.
Stakeholders such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) were present at the event.